Member of Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam self-immolates to protect Dharma and to protest against Chinese invasion

 

 
Danlambao – The International Buddhist Information Bureau of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam has informed Danlambao that Mrs. Le Thi Tuyet Mai, a senior leader of the Buddhist Family of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam, committed self-immolation in front of the former Independence Palace on the morning of May 23, 2014.
 
Reportedly, Mrs. Le had vowed to commit self-immolation “to protect Dharma and National sovereignty of Vietnam.” At the scene, Mrs. Le left behind several banners whose contents call for patriotism against Chinese invasion such as “Destroy the intrigues of Chinese invasion with solidarity,” “Light up the path for the patriots,” “Namo Amitabha Buddha.”
 
Protecting faith and national sovereignty
 
The self-immolation took place at the main entrance gate of the former Independence Palace
 
Around 6 a.m. on May 23, 2014, Mrs. Le came to main entrance gate of the former Independence Palace, suddenly poured gasoline on her then lit up the fire. The fire was so intense that it killed the victim on the spot, leaving behind a charred body.
 
Mrs. Le’s body was later taken to a hospital. Police forces were immediately mobilized to blockade the hospital and prevent anyone from coming for visiting or getting information.
 
Mr. Le Cong Cau, head of the Buddhist Family of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam, has issued an emergency notice informing the reasons behind Mrs. Le’s self-immolation.
 
According to Cau, the intense crackdowns on the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam by Vietnamese Communist authorities and the recent Chinese invasion of Vietnam’s territorial waters have caused many senior leaders of the Buddhist Family to express their desire for committing self-immolation in order to protect Dharma and national sovereignty, among those is Mrs. Le.
 
Although members of the Buddhist Family have reminded one another to remain calm, on the morning of May 23, Mrs. Le Thi Tuyet Mai, whose Dharma name is Dong Xuan, “committed self-immolation to protect the Dharma and the Nation’s territorial integrity.”
 
According the journalist Truong Minh Duc, Mrs. Le was born in 1947, resided at 253/1 Bui Dinh Tuy Street, Binh Thanh district, Saigon. Expectedly, her funeral will be held at Tap Thanh Pagoda on Bui Dinh Tuy Street, Ward 24, Binh Thanh district, Saigon.
 
Before her passing, she was Deputy of the Buddhist Family in Quang Duc region of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam.
 
By the afternoon of May 23, after the announcement from the Vietnam’s International Buddhist Information Bureau became public, communist officials held a press conference to guide public opinion on the case.
 
“Over the past ten days, I have lived in silence, feeling patriotism seething in my heart. Today I determine to self-immolate to help shed lights [for our soverenity] because the invaders willfully occupy of our territorial waters… May the soul of the nation help me carry out a patriotic act without any problems, nothing will stop it and no attempt to save [my life] will be made… In the past, the Trung Sisters sacrificed Thy Sach to boost the morale among soldiers and the public for attacking Ngoc Hoi citadel. Today I vow to become a torch to support and to strengthen our coast guards and fishermen,” wrote Mrs. Le in one of her letters in which she expressed her love and concerns for the country.
 
“Dilemmas of Life,” said communist party members
 
The communist authorities have tried to conceal information as the cause of the self-immolation has gradually unraveled. The state-run An Ninh Thu Do online newspaper removed the article: “A woman self-immolates on the street” just a few hours after posting it.
 
By the afternoon of May 23, after the announcement from the Vietnam’s International Buddhist Information Bureau became public, communist officials held a press conference to guide public opinion on the case.
 
According to Thanh Nien newspaper, Le Truong Hai Hieu, vice chairman of the People’s Committee of District 1, said Mrs. Le committed self-immolation for facing a “stalemate life.”
 
“The reasons that caused this woman to commit self-immolation are a life deadlock and the anger over the fact that China illegally deployed the HD-981 rig, infringing the sovereignty of Vietnam,” Thanh Nien newspaper quotes a statement from Hieu during a press conference which took place at the headquarters of the People’s Committee of Ben Thanh ward.
 
Le Truong Hai Hieu, vice chairman of the People’s Committee of District 1, at today press conference. Photo courtesy of Thanh Nien Newspaper.
 
Hieu is the son of Le Thanh Hai, communist party chief in Saigon.
 
In the same voice, VietNamNet quotes a statement of Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Thanh Liem from District 1 police, “Mrs. Le Thi Tuyet Mai used gasoline to self-immolate because of a deadlock in life, illnesses, combined with the incident that China illegally deployed the rig in our East Sea.”
 
The state-run media did not mention any information about the main reason that caused Mrs. Le to commit self- immolation, which is to protect Dharma and to protest against the ongoing crackdowns on the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam by the communist authorities.
 
Her family also confirms that she had been psychologically and physically healthy. As a very religious person, she often went to Buddhist temple and had been an active member of the Buddhist Family.
 
Her self-immolations took place at the main entrance gate of the former Independence Palace, a famous landmark of cultural and political history in Saigon. The incident is causing a sensation on the social networks as well as in real life.
 
 
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